Posted: 22 March 2009 15:56

I went out to Offham near Lewes to investigate Mount Harry, one of a string of defended localities along the top of the Downs, eventually locating six slit trenches.

Slit trench

The trenches were all arranged in the same fashion as those occupied by Downsforce; all-round defence in what appears to have been a section locality.

Only one trench had any ironwork; three angle iron pickets sticking up in the ground confirmed my suspicions that nearby hollows were trenches.

The documents indicate that this was a company locality, work beginning on it in December 1940, to be completed by the following February.

The bulk of the trenches therefore remain unaccounted for, but another visit may bring more to light. By 1942 the position is listed as being occupied by 10 Home Guards in an anti-parachutist role, so it may be that the trenches I found today were theirs and not part of the company position.

Having finished here for the time being, I moved towards Offham Hill to the west. I knew that some positions were dug somewhere in this area, but they evaded me today. However, the view across the valley from Offham Hill is stunning; in the centre is Hamsey, where I was two weeks ago.

View from Offham Hill

From here I moved down into Offham itself to visit a roadblock location.

- Pete



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Slit trench

Small, narrow trench designed to provide protection against shrapnel and other battlefield hazards. Technically distinct from a weapon pit (which was intended soley as a defensive position) slit trenches were also used as defence works.

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Hibbs, Peter Mount Harry defended locality (2024) Available at: Accessed: 19 June 2024

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